Apart from being best food for babies, breast milk is also used in Ayurvedic treatment. It is not only used in oral administration, but also in a few Panchakarma therapies as well. It is also known as Stanya, Nari Ksheera, Nari Paya in Sanskrit.
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Qualities and benefits of Human milk:
जीवनं बृंहणं सात्म्यं स्नेहनं मानुषं पयः|
नावनं रक्तपित्ते च तर्पणं चाक्षिशूलिनाम्||२२४||
jīvanaṃ bṛṃhaṇaṃ sātmyaṃ snehanaṃ mānuṣaṃ payaḥ|
nāvanaṃ raktapitte ca tarpaṇaṃ cākṣiśūlinām||224|| – Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 27 chapter
मानुषं वातपित्तासृक् अभिघात अक्षिरोगजित् । तर्पण अश्चोत्तनै: नस्यै: ।
mānuṣaṃ vātapittāsṛk abhighāta akṣirogajit | tarpaṇa aścottanai: nasyai: | – 26 Ashtanga Hrudaya Sutra 5th chapter
Human breast milk is:
Jeevana – enlivening
Brumhana – nourishing, nutrition rich. Useful in Brumhana therapy
Satmya – congenial to human body
Snehana – unctuous, increases body oiliness, useful in relieving dryness.
Abhighata – it is useful in people suffering from injury with hemorrhage.
Breast milk for Nasya treatment – in cases of bleeding disorders (Raktapitta) – such as bleeding through mouth, nasal bleeding, ear bleeding etc, breast milk is administered as nasal drops. This helps to pacify Pitta and relieve bleeding.
Human milk as eye drops: It is useful as eye drops for eye irritation, excess eye secretions, redness, eye pain and discomfort. It is used in Tarpana and Aschottana type of eye treatments.
Effect on Tridosha – Balances Vata and Pitta Dosha
Human milk for leech therapy:
Leech therapy is a form of blood letting therapy. Here leech is made to bite a particular part of body, to let out vitiated blood. In the initial stages of leech therapy, to make the leech stick to the body part, breast milk is applied over the part, which attracts the leach. Other than this, even ghee and mud is also applied to attract leach.
How to enhance breast milk production?
Feeding is the best way to increase the breast milk production. The nipple suckling by the baby acts as a stimulant to mother’s brain to induce hormones which enhances breast milk. This is why, soon after the birth, mothers are encouraged to feed the baby, though the milk production will be very low initially. If they do not feed, then there will be no stimulation, leading to lack of production.
Herbs and treatments that decrease human milk production:
If there is decrease in breast milk production, then usage of astringent tasting herbs like Haritaki, betel nut etc should be avoided. Astringent taste is drying in nature.
All sorts of Rookshana therapy – which causes increase of body dryness should be avoided.
Herbs and medicines that increase breast milk:
Dill seed paste is administered to mother for this purpose.
Vidaryadi Kashayam, Stanya Janana Rasayanam, Padmakadi Kashaya, Stanya Janana Kashaya, – help in improving breast milk production.
It cleanses and detoxifies breast milk. It is given to the mother, when baby starts getting frequent cold, cough, skin eruptions etc. It is also useful when the milk thickens causing plugging of milk ducts. Usually it is administered for a maximum period of 4 – 6 weeks.
नारी पयः सशर्करमुष्ट्र्या अपि नस्यमिक्षुरसः||३३|| – Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 22nd chapter.
The women milk mixed with sugar or the sugar cane juice is used for Nasya (inhalation therapy) to treat excess thirst or dryness of mouth.
Kachuradi Churna – This is a powerful herbal powder for treating headache. This powder is made paste with breast milk and applied over forehead.
(Fun fact: Someone posted a comment on Kachuradi churna article (the comment is there, alive)- how to get breast milk for using this powder, I replied – left to your own efforts and ideas).
Human milk is the best food for babies. In the absence of which, cow milk is the second best choice.
Of all the milks for the purpose of treatment, cow milk is the best.
For the new born baby, human milk is very easy to digest, compared to cow milk.
Read more – cow milk benefits
Taste – Sweet
Qualities – light
Potency – cold
After digestion taste transformation (After digestion taste transformation (Vipaka)) – sweet
Effect on Doshas
Vata balancing – due to sweet taste
Pitta balancing – due to sweet taste, coldness
Kapha increasing – due to sweet taste, coldness.